Judge hopeful turns to law enforcement over missing signs

Attorney Darnell Crosland filed a police report because, he said, his lawn signs are being stolen.

NORWALK, Conn. – Signs, signs, everywhere a sign.

And some of them, apparently are annoying some people enough to prompt them to commit larceny.

From a judge – or at least a judge-wannabe.

Attorney Darnell Crosland, a Democratic candidate for judge in the Norwalk Probate District and president of the Norwalk NAACP chapter, has filed a complaint with the Norwalk Police Department alleging political lawn sign theft.

The report was not immediately available Monday evening, but Crosland said this information in an email that, between 5 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, a sign was removed from Bedford Street at Van Buren Avenue. He said the vehicle driven by the alleged thief may be on a security camera on Van Buren pointed up Bedford.

“That’s just one instance we know is on camera,” he wrote. “There are countless other instances.”

Crosland is challenging longtime incumbent Republican Judge Anthony DePanfilis for the seat on the bench.

The police report takes to the next level a situation that, according to Norwalk Republican Town Committee Pete Torrano, began earlier this month.

“I actually initiated contact with Ed (Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairman Ed Camacho) couple of weeks ago. I also spoke personally with Crosland about two weeks ago concerning his signs being in public places. He was going to take care of it and did not.

Probate Judge DePanfilis signs also have disappeared, says Republican Town Committee chief Pete Torrano.
Probate Judge Anthony DePanfilis signs also have disappeared, says Republican Town Committee chief Pete Torrano.

“We too have signs taken, but I’m not willing to say that it’s a Democratic candidate or their surrogates who are doing it,” he said. “Often times it’s just kids.”

Crosland said that, in one instance, permission was obtained from Curry’s Tire on a Saturday to put a sign in a planter in front of the West Avenue store. On Sunday morning the Crosland sign was gone and a DePanfilis sign was in its place.

Torrano said a letter was sent out by state Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker reminding the local parties about the sign laws and the risk signs can pose to traffic. Torrano said he sent the letter to all the candidates. The letter is attached below.

“As soon as it went out I did receive notice of a sign improperly placed at Woods Pond, and I notified Ed Camacho, who said he will take care of it,” he said. “We’re working together.”

Former RTC Chairman Art Scialabba sent the state letter accompanied by a message:

“Attached is a notice from the State of CT DOT regarding lawn sign placement.  Chairman Pete is also asking that no RTC members or campaign committee members remove any opponents signs from any locations in the city. Pete has received word that several signs for Mr. Crossland have been removed from both public and private property.

“Please notify Pete if you notice any signs located (both democrat or republican) in improper locations.

“If it is a Democrat sign, he will notify the DTC Chairman to have it removed.”


It was the Republicans and Scialabba who went to the police in the 2013 election to complain about missing signs.

“We expect to lose a couple of signs here and there, but this election season it seems that it has been an organized and deliberate attempt to steal as many ‘Moccia for Mayor’ lawn signs as they can, off the property of our of supporters” Scialabba said then in a press release. “This election season is the worst we’ve seen, losing more signs this year than all of my years as Town Chairman combined. By our calculations, we have lost upwards of 150 signs throughout the city, but with a higher loss rate in East Norwalk.”

Scialabba said that, if the police figured out who was taking the signs, charges would be pressed.

State letter Re: lawn signs
State letter Re: lawn signs


4 responses to “Judge hopeful turns to law enforcement over missing signs”

  1. Casey Smith

    Attorney Darnell Crosland, a Democratic candidate for judge in the Norwalk Probate District and president of the Norwalk NAACP chapter, has filed a complaint with the Norwalk Police Department alleging political lawn sign theft.
    Why am I not suprised???? Hmmm….let’s see. I remember that name from other stories…..
    “Norwalk Branch NAACP President Darnell Crosland, who did not speak of any evidence to back up Mosby’s claim of racial discrimination but said that Chiarmonte’s comments were “a disappointment” that showed the claim has merit.”
    On Tuesday, Crosland said, “Miss Mosby has made it quite clear that some of the members of the board are being excluded from decision-making processes. To be more specific, if in fact there is going to be a vote about something, I think it is very important for the information that pertains to that vote to be disseminated timely and to all the board members. What has been brought to my attention is that the information is not being disseminated. What has been brought to my attention is that there are meetings outside of the general body. What that does is it causes those members to either abstain or be uninformed in their vote.”
    The letter calling for the resignation of Norwalk Fire Chief Denis McCarthy was not authorized, NAACP Norwalk branch President Darnell Crosland said. NAACP First Vice President Andre Williams, who released the letter, disagreed and said it was discussed at an NAACP executive board meeting and authorized.
    Thumbs down to attorney Darnell Crosland for hiding an orange squirt gun and bag of baking soda under chairs in a Stamford courtroom in hopes of swaying a jury about possession laws. Crosland said he lifted the idea from a seminar on possession law. “I said `That sounds like a really good idea,’ ” Crosland recalled.

    To the sounds of sobs in the courtroom, a Stamford woman who ran over and killed two men while intoxicated on Interstate 95 in Darien in October 2010 was sentenced to six months in jail for drunken driving….[Judge] White seemed to be unmoved by Blanks’ apology. After Blanks’ attorney, Darnell Crosland, said the only reason Blanks was in court was because she had been drinking that night, White disagreed.
    I could find more, but I think these get the point across.

  2. EveT

    Responsible candidates keep track of which supporters are displaying their lawn signs and make arrangements to retrieve them after the election. It has been 6 weeks since the August primary and “Dave Watts” signs are still displayed in many places around town.

  3. One and Done.

    If someone is apprehended for this, they would be smart to lodge a formal complaint against Crossland for his numerous signs illegally installed in public places. Then again, we probably aren’t dealing with someone who is smart in any case.

  4. Karen Doyle Lyons

    While placing my political signs I was very careful to ask property owners permission and not place them on State and City property. Yes some were stolen. Yes I do know who took some of my signs. I maintained a list of placements and picked them all up.
    DePanfilis has also been very careful as to placement. As you travel around Norwalk you can see many Crosland signs where they should not be.

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